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Sale, Red Sox face Twins phenom on MLB.TV

Hamels to be activated for tonight's start; Dodgers, Angels renew Freeway Series
MLB.com

There's a lighter load of games today, just eight across the Majors, but fans can catch all the action on MLB.TV.

Amid a smaller slate, there are still great pitching matchups this evening. Twins rookie Jose Berrios squares off against Boston ace Chris Sale at Fenway Park. Rangers lefty Cole Hamels is slated for his first start in two months opposite the Indians' Carlos Carrasco in a matchup of 2016 postseason clubs. In Washington, the Cubs and Nationals open a four-game series, and in Los Angeles, the Angels and Dodgers revive the Freeway Series.

There's a lighter load of games today, just eight across the Majors, but fans can catch all the action on MLB.TV.

Amid a smaller slate, there are still great pitching matchups this evening. Twins rookie Jose Berrios squares off against Boston ace Chris Sale at Fenway Park. Rangers lefty Cole Hamels is slated for his first start in two months opposite the Indians' Carlos Carrasco in a matchup of 2016 postseason clubs. In Washington, the Cubs and Nationals open a four-game series, and in Los Angeles, the Angels and Dodgers revive the Freeway Series.

MLB.TV Premium is now available for $99.99 yearly or $24.99 monthly, with nearly two dozen features for subscribers to access and interact with live out-of-market Major League Baseball games at 60 frames per second on any of the more than 400 supported devices. MLB.TV Single Team subscriptions are also available at $79.99 yearly.

Here's what else to watch for throughout the day, streaming live on MLB.TV (all times ET):

Remember me?: MIN@BOS, 7:10 p.m.

The Red Sox have won five of Sale's last six starts. In June, Sale has generated a 17.5 percent swinging-strike rate, fourth-highest in the Majors in that stretch (min. 300 pitches thrown), according to Statcast™. In his last start against the Royals, he retired 19 consecutive hitters at one point.

Video: CWS@MIN: Berrios goes eight strong with eight K's

After struggling to provide Sale run support through the first month-plus, Boston might have its hands full against Berrios, who is 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA on the road this year. Berrios has been one of the game's best pitchers this month, having yielded a .231 expected weighted on-base average, which accounts for rolling hit probabilities based on exit velocity and launch angle.

The Twins currently sit alone atop the American League Central, while the Red Sox are tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East.

Welcome back: TEX@CLE, 7:10 p.m.

Sidelined the past two months with a strained right oblique, Hamels is pitching for the first time since April 26. The lefty tossed 81 pitches in his last rehab outing on Wednesday. He is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in five career starts against Cleveland. In 32 2/3 innings this year over five starts, Hamels is 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA.

Video: TEX@CLE: Hamels, Carrasco set to meet in Cleveland

After an up-and-down May, Carrasco has been near flawless in his three most recent outings, all wins. In his last start in Baltimore, Carrasco escaped a jam and tossed six scoreless innings.

"[The outing] is telling me that everything's been good," Carrasco said. "I think that's really important to not walk anyone in situations right there. And, actually, I didn't know if I walked anyone or not, but more importantly, we just went out there and tried to put some zeros on the board."

Staying afloat: CHC@WSH, 7:05 p.m.

The Cubs left Miami just one game above .500, still trailing the Brewers in the National League Central. They'll turn to right-hander Eddie Butler, who carries a 5.63 ERA in three road starts and is vying for a long-term role in the rotation.

Video: CHC@WSH: Butler, Gonzalez to battle in Washington

For the Nationals, Gio Gonzalez has been one of the more intriguing All-Star candidates. He has one of the lowest rates of first-pitch strikes and one of the highest rates of total balls thrown, but he's generated a 28 percent chase rate when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Freeway Series: LAA@LAD, 10:10 p.m.

Video: LAA@LAD: Nolasco, Hill to face off in Los Angeles

The Dodgers are coming off a series win over the Rockies in what amounted to a battle for the top of the NL West. They open a four-game home-and-home series against the Angels to renew the Freeway Series.

For the Dodgers, Rich Hill hasn't registered an out in the sixth inning in 11 starts this year. He did, however, have an encouraging outing his last time out against the Mets, throwing seven strikeouts in five innings, after an admittedly frustrating first two months of the season during which he was limited by a blister.

For the Angels, Ricky Nolasco has given up an American League-most 23 homers this year. According to Statcast™, Nolasco has surrendered an average exit velocity of 89.6 mph on all batted balls, second-highest in the Majors (min. 250 batted ball events).

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.